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A trial date has been set for a case involving an explosion at a biodiesel plant in Iowa. Soy Energy is suing CJS Group for breach of contract, negligence and indemnification after a tank exploded within the plant. Soy Energy contracted Ball Industrial Services for plant modifications, who in turn hired CJS Group as an engineering consultant. The trial is set to begin November 7, 2016. Read more at Globe Gazette.

Bosch is developing a low-cost, 48-volt "boost recuperation" hybrid system. Set to be ready for production by 2017, the "entry-level" hybrid system has a smaller lithium-ion battery and less expensive components than conventional 400-volt hybrids. Using a motor-generator to assist the combustion engine with extra boost during acceleration, the system is capable of regenerative braking and stop-start, providing a 15-percent improvement in fuel economy. A second-generation version of the 48-volt system - to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show - features a transmission-integrated electric motor capable of powering a remote-controlled automatic parking system. Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.
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Boost recuperation system

The hybrid for everyone: Bosch's 48-volt system makes sense even in compact vehicles


First generation to be production-ready by 2017, new second-generation prototype to also help drivers park

• Cuts fuel consumption by 15 percent and enables boost function
• New function: all-electric driving in stop-and-go traffic
• New function: electric, automatic parking - via app and key

Frankfurt/Stuttgart, Germany – Be honest: did you think about choosing a hybrid the last time you bought a car? You will the next time. That is because Bosch has developed a hybrid powertrain that makes economic sense even in smaller vehicles. The system will go into production with the next vehicle generation and costs just a fraction of today's hybrid systems. "The boost recuperation system is the hybrid for everyone," says Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector.

At the same time, drivers benefit from the well-known advantages of a hybrid, which make the car significantly more fuel-efficient. This makes it possible even for modern vehicles to operate 15 percent more economically, not only in controlled tests, but also in everyday driving situations. In addition, gasoline and diesel engines are capable of more dynamic acceleration thanks to the electronic boost feature. The electrical powertrain provides the combustion engine with an additional 150 Newton meters of support during acceleration. That corresponds to the power of a sporty compact-car engine.

Unlike conventional 400-volt hybrids, the system is based on a lower voltage of 48 volts and can therefore make do with less expensive components. Instead of a large electric motor, the generator has been enhanced to output four times as much power. The motor generator uses a belt to support the combustion engine with up to 10 kW. The power electronics forms the link between the additional low-voltage battery and the motor generator. A DC/DC converter supplies the car's 12-volt on-board network from the 48-volt vehicle electrical system. The newly developed lithium-ion battery is also significantly smaller.

"The entry-level hybrid with 48 volts is going to become an attractive option for drivers in Europe, North America, and Asia," Bulander says. Bosch expects some 4 million new vehicles worldwide to be equipped with this type of hybrid powertrain in 2020.

Second-generation prototype: parking at the press of a button
At the IAA 2015, Bosch will also be presenting a new second generation of the entry-level hybrid that is currently still in development. In the prototype, the more powerful motor generator is connected directly with the powertrain rather than with the combustion engine.

This allows the entry-level hybrid to provide all-electric driving even at low speeds – such as in stop-and-go traffic – in addition to immediate electric support for a short period of time.

The new hybrid makes it possible to include in compact cars a function that will celebrate its debut in premium vehicles at this year's IAA: a remote-controlled parking assistant that allows drivers to direct the parking maneuver from the curbside. The fully automatic parking assistant steers the vehicle into even the tightest parking spaces and garages safely and conveniently, without any stress or hassle.

The assistant uses ultrasonic sensors and is based on the fully automatic parking system found in vehicles with an automatic transmission. Thanks to the built-in electric motor, the system is capable of accelerating by itself and independently shifting between forward and reverse gears. And because the parking process is started by pressing a button on the ignition key, drivers do not even have to be in the vehicle. Bosch has also developed a smartphone app that allows drivers to operate the parking assistant from outside the vehicle.

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